The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time

For our first readers' poll in years, you turned out in your hundreds of thousands. And here are the results...

Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman in The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

by Willow Green |
Published on

For our first readers' poll in six years, you turned out in your hundreds of thousands. And here are the results...


USP: Vittorio De Sica's perfect mix of politics and poignancy.

MVP: Writer Cesare Zavattini, who crafts a fable-like simplicity.

OMG: Father and son tearfully walk away.

300. ANDREI RUBLEV (1966)

Andrei Tarkovsky's Andrei Rublev

USP: Andrei Tarkovsky stages eight episodes in the life of a Russian monk. Big visuals, bigger themes.

MVP: Unknown actor Anatoly Solonitsyn as Andrei — one of cinema's greatest faces. He became Tarkovsky's muse.

OMG: The raid of the Tartars. Stunning.

299. 28 DAYS LATER… (2002)

USP: Danny Boyle does zombies. Visceral, vital, unforgettable.

MVP: Cinematographer Anthony Dod Mantle, flitting between digi-cam realism and pastoral lyricism.

OMG: Jim (Cillian Murphy) walks through an empty London. Mesmerising.


USP: Two hours-plus of nerve-shredding tension. Except for that bit with Catherine Keener, obviously.

MVP: Tom Hanks, who gives it movie-star wallop and character-actor sensitivity.

OMG: Phillips goes for his medical. Shattering stuff.


USP: Wes Craven conjures a killer you can't run from.

MVP: Robert Englund, terrifying as prune-faced dream demon Freddy - before the sequels made him comical.

OMG: Johnny Depp blood fountain!

296. LOVE ACTUALLY (2003)

USP: Cinema as a chocolate box of delights.

MVP: Richard Curtis for gathering that cast as first-time director.

OMG: Emma Thompson, alone in her bedroom, crying to Joni Mitchell.

295. WEST SIDE STORY (1961)

USP: It's Jets versus Sharks in a strong shout for the greatest musical ever made.

MVP: Composer Leonrad Bernstein, who makes magic in the click of a finger.

OMG: "I like to be in America..."


USP: Darker daring sequel that goes to 2015, alternative 1985, then inside the first movie! Freaky but tons of fun.

MVP: Production designer Rick Carter, who created a celver vision of the future.

OMG: Hoverboards!

293. LOCAL HERO (1983)

USP: Bill Forsyth's ode to nature, Scotland and being human.

MVP: Forsyth as screenwriter: gentle, preceptive, funny and warm.

OMG: Burt Lancaster's arrival by helicopter. Magical realism.

292. KING KONG (1933)

USP: The ultimate monster movie. Sorry, P. J.

MVP: Willis O'Brien, the father of stop motion. Kong is more characterful than 1,000 CG creations.

OMG: Kong versus T-Rex!


USP: Swords, sorcery and savagery on an epic scale.

MVP: Director John Milius, who pulled out the best out of Schwarzenegger.

OMG: Thulsa Doom (James Earl Jones) loses his head.

290. COME AND SEE (1985)

Come and See (1985)

USP: Perhaps the greatest war film ever made anywhere. World War II in Belarus, as told through the eyes of a small boy.

MVP: Child actor Aleksei Kravchenko, who was starved of food and shot at for real.

OMG: The barbaric rounding up of peasants sent to a fiery death.

289. BATTLE ROYALE (2000)

USP: Japanese students fight to the death in a smart, savage proto-Hunger Games.

MVP: Novelist Koushun Takami, who came up with the killer idea.

OMG: The neck-collar explosion.

288. BATMAN (1989)

USP: Tim Burton kills the camp and amps up the Gothic for the original go at a serious caped crusader.

MVP: "Never rub another man's rhubarb." Jack Nicholson as the Joker gives it maximum wit and verve.

OMG: "Who are you""I'm Batman."

287. PROMETHEUS (2012)

USP: Kinda-sorta Alien prequel. Massively ambitious sci-fi brain food.

MVP: Michael Fassbender, who finds the human in the fastidious cyborg David.

OMG: David drifting around the spaceship while everyone sleeps.

286. MAN OF STEEL (2013)

USP: Zack Snyder soups up Supes.

MVP: Costume designer James Acheson, for a cool, slick suit and getting rid of the red trunks.

OMG: The destruction of Krypton. Like the best of fantasy literature.

285. 300 (2006)

USP: Zack Snyder soups up history via Frank Miller.

MVP: VFX supervisor Chris Watts, who oversaw the film's stunning, influential comic-book feel.

OMG: "This... is... SPARTA!"


USP: David Lean's copper-clad classic. War films don't get more complex or thrilling than this.

MVP: Composer Kenneth J. Alford, who wrote the whistle-worthy theme tune Colonel Bogey.

OMG: "Madness... madness... madness!"

283. IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE (2000)

USP: Simply the coolest love story ever told.

MVP: DP Christopher Doyle, who creates a hyper-saturated backdrop to complement the understate, reined in emotion of the film's star-crossed lovers.

OMG: How is it possible for a brush of the hands to be so loaded with feeling?


USP: Wes Anderson on cracking, crossover form — a rich, characterful, colourful farce.

MVP: Ralph Fiennes' M. Gustave, a masterclass in physical comedy.

OMG: Those interrupting sirens.

281. PERSONA (1966)

USP: Bergman's two-handed exploration of psychosis and cinema. Essential arthouse.

MVP: A tie between actresses Bibi Andersson and Liv Ullman. Just stunning.

OMG: Andersson and Ullman's faces merge into one. The film in a single image.


How To Train Your Dragon (2010)

USP: DreamWorks' best animation. A spirited adventure, more Star Wars than Shrek.

MVP: DP Roger Deakins, who as visual consultant gave it a live-action feel.

OMG: The boy befriends the dragon.

279. FANTASIA (1940)

USP: Classical music meets timeless animation. Debatably the most ambitious animated feature ever attempted.

MVP: Walt Disney, who dreamed, cajoled and demanded this into existence.

OMG: Those dancing mops.

278. BEETLEJUICE (1988)

USP: The second Tim Burton joint, a demented delight filled with endless imagination and twisted laughs.

MVP: Michael Keaton, nutty energy, comic timing, an irrepresible force.

OMG: "Day-o! Day-o!"

277. SIDEWAYS (2004)

USP: Smart, observant, complex. An Alexander Payne triumph. Who says buddy comedies need to be lamebrained?

MVP: Perennial character actor Paul Giamatti, who shines as cynical Miles.

OMG: The Merlot rant.

276. THE WICKER MAN (1973)

USP: Paganism! Sacrifices! Britt Ekland's arse! One of the great British horror flicks.

MVP: Christopher Lee, who even pulls off that terrible mustard jumper.

OMG: The Wicker Man's head falls off to reveal the sun.

275. THE LOST BOYS (1987)

USP: Perhaps the most '80s film ever made. A still- funny, stylish vamp com.

MVP: The tagline writer: "Sleep all day. Party all night. Never grow old. Never die. It's fun to be a vampire."

OMG: Falling off the railroad bridge.


USP: Heartfelt and hilarious, very few films skewer twentysomething concerns so smartly and sweetly.

MVP: Director Edgar Wright for inventing a new cinematic language.

OMG: Those 8-bit video-game touches.


USP: A sly, witty hardboiler from Shane Black. The title comes from an Italian Bond poster — it's that kind of film.

MVP: Robert Downey Jr., a perfect interpreter of Black's spikey one-liners.

OMG: "I was wetter than Drew Barrymore at a grunge club."


USP: Disney's comeback, a joyous undersea romp.

MVP: Disney exec Jeffrey Katzenberg, who carefully nurtured it to huge success.

OMG: The Under The Sea barnstormer.

271. NETWORK (1976)

USP: A biting TV satire before the world got media-obsessed.

MVP: Writer Paddy Chayefsky.

OMG: "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore."

270. BLUE VELVET (1986)

David Lynch's Blue Velvet (1986)

USP: David Lynch crawls beneath white-picket America to sample its perverse soul.

MVP: Dennis Hopper's freakozoid Frank is a seething nest of neuroses.

OMG: Hopper in front of Isabella Rossellini's crotch crying, "Baby wants to fuck!" It's weirdly tragic.

269. M (1931)

USP: Fritz Lang autopsies vigilante justice in an expressionist Berlin.

MVP: Peter Lorre's tragi-evil performance as the desperate serial child-killer.

OMG: As a child is murdered, the camera follows a lost balloon to chilling effect.

268. DIRTY HARRY (1971)

USP: Trailing a serial killer, Detective Harry Callahan bypasses the legal system.

MVP: Clint Eastwood's big gun created the archetype for maverick cops.

OMG: "This is a .44 Magnum..."


USP: Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) goes from survivor to reluctant revolutionary — fighting the power is more important than a boyfriend.

MVP: Sam Claflin, entering the arena as the pumped and cocky Finnick Odair.

OMG: A watery twist on the first film's supplies-scramble.


USP: World War II tragedy in wide-screen David Lean mode.

MVP: Director Anthony Minghella, able to marry the epic with the intimate.

OMG: Swinging amongst the murals!

265. RIO BRAVO (1959)

USP: Howard Hawks transforms the Western into a claustrophobic thriller.

MVP: John Wayne projects toughness and warmth as the honest sheriff.

OMG: It inspired Aliens!

264. LABYRINTH (1986)

USP: The Muppeteers do a Gothic Alice In Wonderland.

MVP: Jim Henson, who allows his menagerie of creatures to play wonderfully Freudian.

OMG: The Bog Of Eternal Stench!

263. DEAD MAN'S SHOES (2004)

USP: Shane Meadows does Death Wish in Derbyshire.

MVP: Paddy Considine gives a searing, virtuoso performance as the ex-soldier ready to avenge his brother.

OMG: The bad trip... Tea, anyone?


USP: Rings with whimsy.

MVP: Martin Freeman brings Bilbo both a wry modernity and real heart, giving the film its unique charm.

OMG: The Riddles In The Dark sequence - welcome back, Gollum. And Sméagol.


USP: Visceral road rage in post-apocalyptic Oz.

MVP: Stunt-coordinator Max Aspin, who executed most of the toughest stunts.

OMG: The tanker chase remains a masterclass in high-speed choreography.


Mel Brooks' Blazing Saddles (1974)

USP: Western spoof-cum-slapstick civil rights saga.

MVP: It has to be Mel Brooks, not only for his sheer comic invention, but his willingness to take the piss out of all races, genders and species.

OMG: One almighty punch-up breaks the fourth wall to spill out onto the studio lot.

259. ATONEMENT (2007)

USP: World War II rom-dram with an Inception-like secret.

MVP: James McAvoy's heart-rending performance as Robbie Turner is the soul of the film.

OMG: The Dunkirk tracking shot is both technically dazzling and a stunningly human portrayal of a defeated army.


USP: Gary Oldman examines an impeccable ensemble of spies, looking for a mole, and uncovers everyone's secrets.

MVP: Colin Firth, reined-in and on biting, bitter form as one of his prime suspects.



USP: TV's lo-fi pre-teens take their potty-mouthed, celebrity-skewering antics to the big screen, crappy animation and all.

MVP: Cartman — voice of a generation.

OMG: All together now, "Shut your fucking face, Uncle Fucker!"

256. EYES WIDE SHUT (1999)

USP: Kubrick does marital distress as dream puzzle.

MVP: Sydney Pollack not only gave a telling supporting performance but also is the man who brought Tom Cruise and Kubrick together.

OMG: An orgy sequence scary enough to have been in The Shining.

255. TRANSFORMERS (2007)

USP: Giant friggin' robots.

MVP: ILM, who totally nailed the clockwork mayhem of the transformations while paying visual tribute to the toys.

OMG: Hiding Optimus from the folks.

254. THE WILD BUNCH (1969)

USP: Old men of the West make their last stand.

MVP: Sam Peckinpah, who layers his brute, poetic violence with something profoundly moving.

OMG: "Let's go." As the bunch gun-up and march towards their inevitable doom, grown men are known to softly weep.

253. THE HUNGER GAMES (2003)

USP: In dystopian America, teens become gladiators.

MVP: Author Suzanne Collins, who brought a genuine shocking twist to the post-Twilight YA market.

OMG: On your marks, get set... The fight for supplies sets the violent agenda.

252. SCREAM (1996)

USP: Dissecting the slasher movie tradition.

MVP: Kevin Williamson for writing the clever-clever into scary-scary.

OMG: "Do you like scary movies?" Drew Barrymore gets a phone call...

251. METROPOLIS (1927)

USP: Fritz Lang dreams up a nightmare city of the future, complete with robot workers.

MVP: Sculptor Walter Schulze-Mittendorff, who designed the iconic female robot around star Brigitte Helm.

OMG: The amazing, populated cityscapes.

250. HOME ALONE (1990)

Home Alone (1990)

USP: Abandoned moppet sees off hobo burglars in a homage to Looney Tunes.

MVP: Troy Brown or Leon Delaney, take your pick, respectively stunt doubles for Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern.

OMG: Not one, but two paint cans on a rope. Bam! Bam! Yessss!

249. DISTRICT 9 (2009)

USP: Super-grungy alien contact parable made and infused with South Africa.

MVP: Neill Blomkamp, at last a director with a genuinely fresh and witty take on science-fiction staples.

OMG: Wikus (Sharlto Copley) suits up.

248. THE RED SHOES (1948)

USP: Lush, opulent ballet melodrama from the great Powell and Pressburger.

MVP: Moira Shearer as the radiant Vicky.

OMG: The ballet sequence, natch: simultaneously disturbing and seductive.

247. THE GRADUATE (1967)

USP: Dustin Hoffman juggles two Robinsons in Mike Nichols' justly famous dissection of middle-class malaise.

MVP: Simon & Garfunkel, who made The Sound Of Silence an institution and toasted Anne Bancroft's seasoned siren.

OMG: Lost for words on the bus.

246. THE WARRIORS (1979)

USP: Gangs of New York: Walter Hill comic-book style.

MVP: David Patrick Kelley as Luther, the duplicitous leader of the Rogues.

OMG: "War-riors! Come out to pla-ay!"


USP: The Roddenberry reboot gets wrathful with Khan.

MVP: Chris Pine's carefully measured Shatnerisms are spot on.

OMG: The space jump.

244. DUMB AND DUMBER (1994)

USP: Raucous comedy proudly wearing its idiocy on its sleeve.

MVP: We knew Jim Carrey could go wacky, but Jeff Daniels is a revelation of gormlessness.

OMG: Daniels licks a frozen pole with unforeseen (at least to him) consequences.

243. THE WORLD'S END (2013)

USP: The Cornetto trilogy ends with a bang, a whimper and an apocalyptic pub crawl.

MVP: Nick Frost, usually the comic relief, gives the film its emotional weight.

OMG: Bar stool-wielding pub-fu choreographed to '80s British rap classic 20 Seconds To Comply.

242. IRON MAN 3 (2013)

USP: All the Marvel colour and action, with expanded character and added irony.

MVP: Director-co-writer Shane Black, who manages to slip something near-subversive into the Marvel universe.

OMG: The Mandarin gets unpeeled!

241. THE CROW (1994)

USP: Gothic action-tragedy mirrored off-screen by the senseless death of its star.

MVP: Brandon Lee, proving that he had a credible career ahead of him as an actor as well as a martial artist.

OMG: The strobe-lit boardroom gunfight.

240. JFK (1991)

Oliver Stone's JFK (1991)

USP: Oliver Stone solves the Kennedy assasination.

MVP: Kevin Costner grounds Stone's manic theorising and filmmaking fireworks in a very human place.

OMG: "That is a magic bullet..."

239. IRON MAN (2008)

USP: Marvel's first in-house film builds an instant classic from a lesser-known property.

MVP: Robert Downey Jr., making Tony Stark an immediate and charismatic centre for Marvel's cinematic universe.

OMG: The Mark I armour is revealed.


USP: Wes Anderson works his strange magic on an adolescent romance.

MVP: Anderson, continuing to operate within his own unique genre.

OMG: They killed the dog!

237. LA RÈGLE DU JEU (1939)

USP: Jean Renoir's biting social satire, initially banned in France as unpatriotic.

MVP: Renoir, directing his last great movie and taking the role of Octave.

OMG: The deep-focus photography that anticipates Citizen Kane.

236. AKIRA (1988)

USP: Breathtaking and influential animation from Katsuhiro Otomo.

MVP: Tsutomu Ohashi's amazing score: organic notes amid all the cyber-tech.

OMG: Tokyo destroyed in the first frames.

235. CASINO (1995)

USP: Scorsese applies the GoodFellas template to '70s Las Vegas. It works. Again!

MVP: Joe Pesci, thrillingly bringing the psycho once more. It never gets old.

OMG: That scene, in which Pesci reveals a vice other than gambling.


234. ALL ABOUT EVE (1950)

USP: Riveting ensemble bitchfest; Oscar nominations for all four lead actresses.

MVP: Bette Davis in arguably her greatest role as the threatened and threatening Margo Channing.

OMG: "Fasten your seatbelts. It's going to be a bumpy night..."

233. BEFORE SUNRISE (1995)

USP: Richard Linklater's faultless Gen X romance, played to perfection.

MVP: Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke, joint awarded for creating a relationship we've been pleased to catch up with twice since.

OMG: Train station farewells, full of hope that this isn't the end.

232. ZODIAC (2007)

USP: A riveting forensic dissection of a famous, still-unsolved killer case.

MVP: The late, great Harris Savides, whose crisp, impassive cinematography did so much to tweak up the tension.

OMG: A heart-pounding visit to Bob Vaughn's (Charles Fleischer) basement.

231. TOKYO STORY (1953)

USP: Yasujirô Ozu directs his masterpiece, a heartfelt meditation on familial fracture.

MVP: Setsuko Hara, affecting as the Hirayamas' dutiful daughter-in-law.

OMG: The gift of a watch.


Brian De Palma's The Untouchables (1987)

USP: Blood-and-thunder gangster-noir pastiche from provocateur Brian De Palma.

MVP: Writer David Mamet, whose punchy script did it the Chicago way.

OMG: Robert De Niro's Capone goes to bat.


USP: Hitman thriller meets school-reunion romance, with intelligence and wit.

MVP: John Cusack, drily making the extraordinary seem completely mundane.

OMG: The fast, ferocious hand-to-hand fight with real-life kick boxer Benny Urquidez. The pen is indeed mightier...

228. FINDING NEMO (2003)

USP: Pixar remains on top form, even underwater.

MVP: Ellen DeGeneres, finding hilarity in memory loss.

OMG: Marlin (Albert Brooks) mistakenly believes he's lost Nemo forever. Blub.

227. THE TREE OF LIFE (2011)

USP: Astonishing existential family drama from Terrence Malick, casually detouring through the history of the entire universe.

MVP: Jessica Chastain, so beatifically radiant she actually levitates at one point.

OMG: An act of mercy from a dinosaur.


USP: Kevin Costner's ambitious directorial debut revives the epic Western.

MVP: Graham Greene, wry and inquisitive as Costner's first friend among the Sioux.

OMG: Two Socks the wolf meets his heartbreaking fate. No more dancing.

225. BLACK SWAN (2010)

USP: Bravura Gothic doppelgänger ballet drama channelling Tchaikovsky, Dostoevsky, Argento and All About Eve.

MVP: Vincent Cassel's sinister support as ballet company director Thomas Leroy.

OMG: The nerve-shredding crescendo of Portman's final transformation.


USP: Goodbye, Anakin Skywalker. Hello, Darth Vader.

MVP: VFX supervisor Roger Guyett for that beautifully chaotic opening battle.

OMG: Yoda vs. Palpatine.


USP: The Boy Wizard arrives at Hogwarts for the first time.

MVP: Author J. K. Rowling for dreaming it all up, and keeping it faithful — and British.

OMG: What the hell is that on the back of Professor Quirrell's head?!


USP: Ang Lee journeys to emotional territory where most Westerns fear to tread.

MVP: Composer Gustavo Santaolalla for a score as simple as it is heartbreaking.

OMG: "Jack, I swear..."

221. GOLDFINGER (1964)

USP: Bond shifts into top gear with a series high point and the debut of Q's Aston Martin.

MVP: Can we nominate the car? The forerunner of genius moments like the submarine Lotus, it's iconic enough that it had to be in Skyfall.

OMG: "No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die!"


John Huston's The Maltese Falcon (1941)

USP: John Huston's superb noir, from Dashiell Hammett's hard-boiled novel.

MVP: Humphrey Bogart, for his peerless, late-bloomer breakthrough.

OMG: "I won't play the sap for you."

219. THE STING (1973)

USP: Director and stars of Butch And Sundance reunite for a 1930s crime caper.

MVP: Scott Joplin, whose (actually anachronistic) ragtime soundtrack jangles perfectly evoke the story's era.

OMG: A return from the dead.


USP: Pixar turns its hand to superheroes, with predictably stupendous results.

MVP: Director Brad Bird, not usually a performer, voices super-fashionista Edna Mode with amusing aplomb.

OMG: Jack unleashes his true powers. They are quite extensive.


USP: Brando astonishes in Kazan's blue-collar drama.

MVP: Let's say Rod Steiger, who more than holds his own as the brother of the blistering lead.

OMG: "I coulda been a contender."


USP: Studio Ghibli's definitive, otherworldy tale of childhood.

MVP: Totoro himself, a wonderful creation that's the friendly, furry embodiment of benevolence. Rightly became Studio Ghibli's mascot.

OMG: Is it a bus? Is it a cat? It's a Catbus!

215. SUSPIRIA (1977)

USP: What if ballet schools are full of witches and everything's gone giallo?

MVP: Jessica Harper, who deals with all the madness headed her way and still manages to get some dancing done.

OMG: The effectively scary soundtrack came from Italian prog-rockers Goblin.

214. THE SEVENTH SEAL (1957)

USP: Bergman's mesmeric medieval meditation takes in ennui, plague and chess.

MVP: Bengt Ekerot as Death finds some surprising moments of (dark) humour amid the pervasive bleakness.

OMG: The final danse macabre.


USP: Kubrick recreates Vietnam in London's Docklands.

MVP: R. Lee Ermey as the appalling drill instructor Sgt. Hartman. Do you maggots understand?

OMG: Pte Pyle (Vincent D'Onofrio) finally snaps... with 7.62mm full metal jackets.

212. COOL HAND LUKE (1967)

USP: Paul Newman does not fail to communicate his effortless cool.

MVP: George Kennedy scored a Best Supporting Actor Oscar as pugnacious prisoners' leader Dragline.

OMG: Newman's 50-eggs-in-an-hour bet.

211. RUSHMORE (1998)

USP: Wes Anderson's home-run second film, and his first with subsequent regular Bill Murray.

MVP: Jason Schwartzman, making an astonishing debut as the likably precocious Max Fischer.

OMG: Heaven And Hell, Max's ambitious prep-school 'Nam stage play.


USP: The Coens channel Dashiell Hammett in one of their best.

MVP: Jon Polito as Johnny Caspar, doggedly refusing to accept the high hat.

OMG: Oh Danny boy... Albert Finney's still an artist with a Thompson.


USP: Terry Gilliam on acid (or adrenochrome) in a glorious collision of director and source material.

MVP: A terrifying Benicio Del Toro as "fat Samoan" Dr. Gonzo.

OMG: Attempted suicide to White Rabbit.

208. MOON (2009)

USP: Mind-bending sci-fi mystery in Duncan Jones' impressive debut.

MVP: Sam Rockwell, deftly playing one character in several distinct versions.

OMG: Sam finds he's rescuing himself.


The Coen Brothers' Miller's Crossing (1990)

USP: Heart-rending World War II drama from director/star Roberto Benigni.

MVP: The young Giorgio Cantarini: wide-eyed innocence among the horror.

OMG: Guido (Benigni) clowns for Joshua (Cantarini) as he's marched to his death.

206. PLANET OF THE APES (1968)

USP: It took a bizarre, satirical concept and somehow translated that into a blockbusting thrill-ride.

MVP: Make-up genius John Chambers, who crafted the groundbreaking ape prosthetics.

OMG: Those final minutes.

205. LET THE RIGHT ONE IN (2008)

USP: Vampires. But, y'know... for Swedes.

MVP: Director Tomas Alfredson, master of meticulous pacing.

OMG: The pool scene. No running, piddling or beheading allowed.

204. LES MISÉRABLES (2012)

USP: Tom Hooper's all-singing misery-fest.

MVP: Roger Davison, the on-set pianist, whose live playing fuelled the fully committed performances.

OMG: Anne Hathaway's I Dreamed A Dream - better than SuBo.


USP: Hayao Miyazaki's gorgeous, surreal paean to environmentalism.

MVP: Neil Gaiman, who translated the screenplay into English, thereby helping spread the Ghibli love worldwide.

OMG: The finale, with so many body parts mutating it's almost Cronenbergian.


USP: Sunshine by name, sunshine by nature — this indie comedy is pure joy.

MVP: Alan Arkin, who bagged an Oscar as the irascible grandfather.

OMG: Silent son Paul Dano realises he can't be a pilot, and freaks out.

201. PLATOON (1986)

USP: Oliver Stone goes back to Vietnam and chronicles the loss of America's innocence.

MVP: Dale Dye, the boot-camp instructor who whipped the actors into shape.

OMG: Barber's Adagio For Strings soars, Willem Dafoe adopts a Jesus Christ pose.

200. BEN-HUR (1959)

Ben Hur

USP: Biblical tale so huge, even God might think it OTT.

MVP: Charlton Heston, grimacing for all he's worth.

OMG: The legendary and lengthy chariot race. The epitome of epic.


USP: Extraordinary thriller about love and life under the microscope in East Germany.

MVP: Ulrich Mühe — who died before the film was released — as the compassionate Stasi.

OMG: The search for the hidden typewriter. Tension at its finest.

198. THE FOUNTAIN (2006)

USP: Darren Aronofsky's Holy Grail AND The Meaning Of Life.

MVP: DP Matthew Libatique, who gives the sprawl — and three separate timelines — a distinct identity.

OMG: A bald Hugh Jackman approaches the tree of life in a ship made out of a bubble. Death is the road to awe, indeed.


USP: Charlie Kaufman bakes another batch of brain-noodles.

MVP: The late, great Philip Seymour Hoffman, bringing humanity to a film that could have drowned in weird.

OMG: The funeral monologue.


USP: John Landis' horror-comedy skimps on neither.

MVP: Rick Baker. The transformation scene is still the one to beat.

OMG: That transformation.

195. 8 1/2 (1963)

USP: So much more than a movie about movies, Federico Fellini's classic is art about art.

MVP: Marcello Mastroianni, mesmerising as Fellini's alter-ego.

OMG: The oppression of the opening dream sequence - setting the tone.

194. THE SOUND OF MUSIC (1965)

USP: Nazis! Nuns! Tunes!

MVP: Julie Andrews, the definitive answer to the question, "How do you solve a problem like Maria?"

OMG: The glorious opening shot.

193. POINT BREAK (1991)

USP: Young, dumb and full of testosterone.

MVP: Kathryn Bigelow, grabbing a genre previously thought the domain of men by the balls and refusing to let go.

OMG: Keanu fires his gun in the air and goes argh.

192. GREASE (1978)

USP: The original high-school musical. (Actors of appropriate age need not apply.)

MVP: Frankie Valli, whose title track ensures the film hits the ground running.

OMG: Olivia Newton-John leathers up for You're The One That I Want, while Travolta's voice shatters glass.

191. FIELD OF DREAMS (1989)

USP: If Kevin Costner builds it, they will come. And you will cry.

MVP: Costner, at the height of his Gary Cooper powers.

OMG: When the ghost players first emerge through the grass onto the field.

190. KICK-ASS (2010)

Matthew Vaughn's Kick-Ass (2010)

USP: Matthew Vaughn has his superhero cake and eats it.

MVP: Chloë Grace Moretz, dropping bad guys and C-bombs.

OMG: Nic Cage's Big Daddy shows off as he takes out a warehouse of villains.

189. SUNSET BLVD. (1950)

USP: Billy Wilder's acerbic look at fading power and glory.

MVP: Wilder, Charles Brackett and D. M. Marshman Jr., writers of the greatest movie about movies.

OMG: "I'm ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille..."

188. STAR TREK (2009)

USP: An admirable enterprise that gave reboots a good name.

MVP: April Webster and Alyssa Weisberg, the casting directors who saw Trekkin' potential in Pine, Quinto and co..

OMG: Kirk's dad (Chris Hemsworth) sacrifices himself to save his son.

187. CITY LIGHTS (1931)

USP: Charlie Chaplin tells a sentimental story about a tramp in love with a blind girl – but does it so brilliantly that you don't care about the cliché.

MVP: Virginia Cherrill, who was briefly fired during filmmaking for booking an unauthorised hair appointment.

OMG: Chaplin was so nervous about the boxing scene that he packed the audience with real-life friends.

186. TOP GUN (1986)

USP: Indisputable proof of the need for speed.

MVP: It made Cruise a star, but Tony Scott — and that orange filter — made the whole damn thing look good.

OMG: The tragic loss of Deadmeat - sorry, Goose.


USP: The future is bright, the future is Besson. The future is bonkers.

MVP: Milla Jovovich, so beguiling as unstoppable killing machine Leeloo Dallas.

OMG: Chris Tucker shows up. The hair, the voice, the everything.


USP: A rollercoaster ride. Almost literally.

MVP: It can only be Johnny Depp. Captain Jack Sparrow remains a dotty delight.

OMG: The Black Pearl attacks.


USP: Three Days Of The Condor. With superheroes.

MVP: Chris Evans, able to sell innate decency without ever being dull.

OMG: The elevator fight. Twelve men enter, one man leaves. Spectacularly.

182. SIN CITY (2005)

USP: Film noir with a modern twist. Like Heston Blumenthal hard-boiling an egg.

MVP: Frank Miller may be co-director, but this is Robert Rodriguez' baby.

OMG: Benicio Del Toro's talking corpse, guest-directed by Quentin Tarantino.

181. THE GREAT ESCAPE (1963)

USP: The mother of all POW movies, held in such affection, most forget the bummer ending.

MVP: Elmer Bernstein for his barnstorming theme.

OMG: "Thanks." With one misplaced word, Gordon Jackson gives up the jig.


David O. Russell's Silver Linings Playbook

USP: A rom-com about mental illness that treads a fine line.

MVP: The Oscar-winning Jennifer Lawrence, contrary, sassy and beguiling.

OMG: Robert De Niro and Lawrence argue about stats. 100 per cent enjoyable.


USP: The dark heart of Indiana Jones exposed.

MVP: It has to be the man in the hat, Harrison Ford.

OMG: The opening set-piece at Club Obi Wan.


USP: Richard Linklater's dazzling love letter to youth.

MVP: "Alright alright alright"... Matthew McConaughey blazes a trail as the ageing sad/cool slacker, Wooderson.

OMG: The keg party sequence.

177. DOWNFALL (2004)

USP: Hitler's final days captured in grim detail. Not a knockabout sex comedy.

MVP: Bruno Ganz, a revelation, depriving Hitler of iconic power by portraying him as a broken, confused old man.

OMG: The scene that launched a thousand memes - Hitler's bunker rant.


USP: Two of the greatest outlaws, played by two of the greatest movie stars.

MVP: Burt Bacharach and Hal David for Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head.

OMG: The end, from siege to banter to freeze-frame. Effortlessly iconic.


USP: War IS a laughing matter.

MVP: Peter Sellers, for playing everyone.

OMG: The final montage. Vera Lynn soundtracks the end of the world.

174. BRAVEHEART (1995)

USP: Historical epics were struggling, but Mel Gibson defied the trend and hit big with his second directorial effort, so mythically potent the Scots erected a Wallace statue that looked like him.

MVP: Cinematographer John Toll, for really getting in there with the battle scenes.

OMG: "Hold... Hold... Hold..." Et voilá;: horse kebabs!

173. (500) DAYS OF SUMMER (2009)

USP: This generation's Annie Hall: inventive, funny and emotionally true.

MVP: Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber, for an ingenious screenplay.

OMG: The expectation versus reality split-screen gambit.

172. THE SEARCHERS (1956)

USP: John Ford's best Western, rich, exciting, complex.

MVP: John Wayne as Ethan Edwards. A towering performance that can bring grown men to tears.

OMG: Framed by a door, Edwards walks away from the homestead and normality.

171. THE RAID (2011)

USP: The most brutal action flick of the new century.

MVP: Fight choreographers Iko Uwais and Yayan Ruhian.

OMG: Rama dives out of a window, falls three storeys, still fighting a bad guy.


Tim Burton's Edward Scissorhands (1990)

USP: A magical modern fairy tale, defining the term 'Burtonesque'.

MVP: Composer Danny Elfman, whose music is offbeam and heartfelt at the same time.

OMG: Scissorhands does topiary!

169. CLERKS (1994)

USP: A knowing love letter to menial work and shooting the shit. Essential indie cinema.

MVP: Writer-director-Silent Bob Kevin Smith. He likes Star Wars, you know.

OMG: "In a row?"


USP: Michael Mann does the French-Indian war. Epic and swoonsome.

MVP: Madeleine Stowe, who gives the best female performance in any Mann film. She is both love interest and real human being.

OMG: "I will find you!"


USP: The Pythons take a chaotic hike through Arthurian legend. And there was much rejoicing.

MVP: Graham Chapman carries the film as a pompous, befuddled and exasperated King Arthur.

OMG: Itu's just a flesh wond."


USP: Rollicking Middle-earth adventure. Fantastic action filmmaking full of wit and verve.

MVP: Weta's Joe Letteri, for creating one of cinema's great dragons.

OMG: The best barrel chase since Jaws.

165. THE DEER HUNTER (1978)

USP: Cimino's epic Vietnam flick is also a telling portrait of friendships and America.

MVP: Christopher Walken, who took home an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor.

OMG: The Russian roulette sequence is emotionally shattering.

164. THE THIN RED LINE (1998)

USP: Mesmerising World War II drama from Terrence Malick, hefting an extraordinary cast.

MVP: Malick himself, returning to directing after a 20-year hiatus.

OMG: Discovering dead soldiers in the whispering grass.

163. HER (2013)

USP: Spike Jonze's intimate drama of a man and his OS.

MVP: Scarlett Johansson, creating a tangible presence and a fully-fleshed character with her voice only.

OMG: Brian Cox's sudden arrival as decades-dead philosopher Alan Watts.

162. SHAUN OF THE DEAD (2004)

USP: Perfect zom-com from the team that created Spaced.

MVP: Simon Pegg, wielding cricket bats and Molotov cocktails with panicked élan.

OMG: "Batman soundtrack?" "Throw it."


USP: An English airman foresees his death. Well, he actually dies if we're technical.

MVP: Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, the directors who set a (very high) benchmark against which all British films should be judged.

OMG: The quite literal Stairway To Heaven, centerpiece of Alfred Junge's production design.

160. CASINO ROYALE (2006)

Casino Royale (2006)

USP: Bond Begins, in Martin Campbell's radical reboot.

MVP: Daniel Craig, silencing the naysayers with a Bond that could go toe-to-toe with Connery's.

OMG: "You must have thought I was bluffing, Mr. Bond."

159. FROZEN (2013)

USP: Disney's funny, irreverent take on The Snow Queen.

MVP: Josh Gad's summer-smitten comedy snowman, Olaf.

OMG: Elsa's lung-busting, Oscar-winning, empowering musical number Let It Go.


USP: Majestic slow-burn Western drama by Andrew Dominik.

MVP: Cinematographer Roger Deakins, whose every frame in the film is a meticulously conceived work of art.

OMG: The night train lit by lanterns.


USP: Threw the Disney comeback into full swing, with some amazing visuals.

MVP: Directors Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise, who rescued an enduring classic from the jaws of a troubled development.

OMG: Showstopper Be Our Guest.


USP: Mary Harron makes an impressive stab at Bret Easton Ellis' 'unfilmable' novel.

MVP: Christian Bale, nailing the comedy amid the considerable violence.

OMG: Axe-murdering to the strains of Huey Lewis And The News.

155. AIRPLANE! (1980)

USP: Thick-and-fast disaster-spoof tomfoolery from Zucker/Abrahams/Zucker.

MVP: Peter Graves as the pilot whose reveries hint at an intriguing history.

OMG: Inflatable autopilot Otto receives some TLC from Julie Hagerty.


USP: Disturbing neo-Nazi drama from a maverick first-time director.

MVP: Edward Norton, confidently walking the difficult line from monstrous thug to sympathetic, reformed antihero.

OMG: The curb stomp.

153. WATCHMEN (2009)

USP: Zack Snyder cracks an adaptation of Alan Moore's graphic novel thought by many to be impossible. They were wrong.

MVP: Jackie Earle Haley as contradictory idealistic sociopath vigilante Rorschach.

OMG: "I'm not locked in here with you. You're locked in here with me!"


USP: David Yates brings the whole magical saga to its rousing, surprising, thrilling conclusion.

MVP: Yates, who took decisive creative ownership of the franchise's second half.

OMG: Neville Longbottom steps up.


USP: Rob Reiner nails one of cinema's greatest rom-coms.

MVP: Nora Ephron's screenplay is witty, smart and psychologically on-the-money, relationship-wise.

OMG: "I'll have what she's having..."

150. UNFORGIVEN (1992)

Clint Eastwood's Unforgiven (1992)

USP: Clint Eastwood's elegiac final word on the Western. It's an artful and dignified farewell.

MVP: Eastwood, channelling the characters and directors who gave him his career, ending a personal era.

OMG: Bill Munny's final gunfight.


USP: A moving and heartfelt love letter to cinema from director Giuseppi Tornatore.

MVP: Philippe Noiret as the inspirational projectionist. Alfredo! Alfredo!

OMG: Nitrate nightmare: the Cinema Paradiso goes up in flames.


USP: David Fincher's morbidly fascinating drama, fashioning a classical tragicomedy from the creation of Facebook. Like.

MVP: Armie Hammer in a challenging dual role as put-upon twins The Winklevi.

OMG: The Henley Regatta boat race, scored to a collision of Reznor and Grieg.

147. TOY STORY 3 (2010)

USP: Pixar's touching farewell to Woody and Buzz masterfully juggles pathos, tenderness and knockabout comedy. Again.

MVP: Michael Arndt, for his note-perfect and justifiably garlanded screenplay.

OMG: The gang join hands in the face of (seemingly) certain death.

146. MOULIN ROUGE! (2001)

USP: Exhilaratingly bonkers musical period romance from Baz Luhrmann.

MVP: Jim Broadbent, whether raucously fronting his can-can dancers or delicately duetting on Like A Virgin.

OMG: The gravel-voiced Roxanne tango.

145. HOT FUZZ (2007)

USP: Michael Bay meets Will Hay in Cornetto Trilogy Part Two.

MVP: Timothy Dalton as the dastardly supermarket manager Skinner.

OMG: Adam Buxton's splitting headache.

144. CHILDREN OF MEN (2006)

USP: Alfonso Cuarón's intelligent and action-packed dystopian sci-fi, criminally underrated on release.

MVP: The scrum of screenwriters (five!) who vastly bettered P. D. James' novel.

OMG: Julianne Moore's early exit.

143. DAWN OF THE DEAD (1978)

USP: Romero builds on his grainy original template for an eviscerating satire.

MVP: Tom Savini, whose imagination when it comes to zombie gore FX is seemingly limitless.

OMG: Roger slowly rises from the dead.

142. ZULU (1964)

USP: The Battle Of Rorke's Drift in glorious 70mm.

MVP: Stanley Baker, who not only starred but got the film made, seeing it as a British Western.

OMG: The arrival of the massed ranks of Zulu warriors, and the realistion of what they are up against.

141. THE GOONIES (1985)

USP: Enough exuberance and irreverence to lodge this romp in our happy-thought zones forever.

MVP: Jeff Cohen's Chunk: truffle shuffle!

OMG: Sloth (John Matuszak) the pirate hero.

140. SCARFACE (1983)

Brian De Palma's Scarface (1983)

USP: All the brutality and excess of the '80s in one movie.

MVP: Art director Edward Richardson, for effectively inventing bling.

OMG: The chainsaw hit. "And now the leg, huh?"


USP: How would you feel if a whole universe of wonders visited your front doorstep? Something like this movie, we'd bet...

MVP: Richard Dreyfuss. In anyone else's hands, Roy Neary would be unlikable — or downright scary.

OMG: Li'l Cary Guffey looks into the light.

138. BATMAN BEGINS (2005)

USP: It brought a whole new approach to superhero cinema, analysing an origin story with minute attention to realistic detail.

MVP: Bale, for nailing that Bruce Wayne isn't one role, nor two, but three: the orphan, the playboy and the bat.

OMG: Bruce conquers fear in the Batcave.

137. AMADEUS (1984)

USP: A pitch-perfect study of creativity, genius and professional jealousy.

MVP: F. Murray Abraham, for his seething Salieri.

OMG: Mozart (Tom Hulce) turning Salieri's tune transcendent.

136. THE EXORCIST (1973)

USP: It's the last word in exquisite possession horror.

MVP: Linda Blair. It wouldn't be the same without her.

OMG: More than the head-spin, that spinal tap scene really distresses.


USP: A family melodrama turned into quirk-com via the Wes-Andersonverse.

MVP: Gene Hackman as bad dad Royal.

OMG: Royal to his grand-kids: "I'm very sorry for your loss. Your mother was a terribly attractive woman."

134. WALL•E (2008)

USP: A Pixar original, strongest for its first-half silent treatment.

MVP: Sound maestro Ben Burtt, aka the voice of that wee cute-bot.

OMG: The fire-extinguisher space-dance.

133. HALLOWEEN (1978)

USP: John Carpenter invents the slasher pic as we know it.

MVP: Carpenter, not just for writing and directing, but for that creepy piano theme.

OMG: The first-person-shot opening sequence, with its own twist ending.


USP: So much more than 'courtroom drama': it's a mystery, a coming-of-age film, America's Deep South dissected.

MVP: Screenwriter Horton Foote, for giving Harper Lee's classic American novel a movie to match it.

OMG: Atticus Finch's summation - Gregory Peck's never been better.

131. BOOGIE NIGHTS (1997)

USP: It's not a film about porn, but family. Also, disco dancing.

MVP: Alfred Molina, for his crazed cameo. "Come on, you puppies!"

OMG: Mark Wahlberg and John C. Reilly sing, off-key, Transformers: The Movie's theme song.

130. IN BRUGES (2008)

In Bruges (2008)

USP: Killer comedy, with the winning double act of Brendan Gleeson and Colin Farrell.

MVP: Ralph Fiennes as their nutso boss.

OMG: "A lot of midgets tend to kill themselves..."

129. LIFE OF BRIAN (1979)

USP: Monty Python's most coherent and controversial movie... Also its funniest.

MVP: Eric Idle, for penning Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life.

OMG: The stoning. "Jehovah! Jehovah! Jehovah!"

128. DIRTY DANCING (1987)

USP: Its undiminished nostalgia power. We keep on having the time of our lives...

MVP: Jennifer Grey as Baby, the '80s girl's most relatable heroine.

OMG: The jump. The catch. They're a perfect match.

127. À BOUT DE SOUFFLE (1960)

USP: Godard. Truffaut. The birth of the Nouvelle Vague.

MVP: Lead editor Cécile Decugis, for her innovation (jump cuts!) and elegance.

OMG: Jean-Paul Belmondo effortlessly flips a cigarette into his mouth. Cool.


USP: Will Ferrell and Adam McKay's improv silliness formed last decade's biggest cult comedy.

MVP: Steve Carell's vacant-skulled Brick. "I love lamp."

OMG: The Battle Of The Five News Teams.

125. ANNIE HALL (1977)

USP: Woody's finest: the Early Funny Ones meet the Later Serious Ones.

MVP: Diane Keaton, putting on the ditz (and her own clothes) as Annie.

OMG: The lobster. Both times.

124. ROBOCOP (1987)

USP: Paul Verhoeven's savvy blend of OTT sci-fi action with hilariously dark satire.

MVP: Phil Tippett, inventor of 'go motion', for his realisation of bad (Robo) cop ED-209.

OMG: Emil (Paul McCrane), half-melted by toxic sludge, hits the windscreen. Ew!

123. THE WIZARD OF OZ (1939)

USP: Farm girl moves to the Emerald City, becomes obsessed with shoes.

MVP: Margaret Hamilton's Wicked Witch Of The West, whose cackle has never been bettered.

OMG: Over The Rainbow still gives us goosebumps.


USP: The ultimate 'stick it to the oldies' film — teen wise-guy Ferris (Matthew Broderick) is always a step ahead.

MVP: Broderick, here the epitome of boyish charm. And yet not hateable.

OMG: The Ferrari gets trashed.


USP: We believed a man could fly...

MVP: ... But more importantly we believed people couldn't see the similarities between Clark and Kal-El — thanks to Christopher Reeve's brilliance.

OMG: You've got me? Who's got you?!"


Star Wars: Return of the Jedi (1983)

USP: The most monstery of the original trilogy: Jabba! Rancor! Ewoks?

MVP: Ian McDiarmid as the Emperor, with his dry-parchment voice and peerless sneer.

OMG: Big bad Darth Vader dies... And we're all crying.

119. 12 YEARS A SLAVE (2013)

USP: No movie's handled slavery so unflinchingly.

MVP: A strong cast, but it all hangs on Chiwetel Ejiofor.

OMG: The world trundles on as Solomon hangs, half-lynched.

118. CHINATOWN (1974)

USP: Greek tragedy? Political commentary? Gumshoe thriller? All of the above.

MVP: Writer Robert Towne, for throwing on layers but keeping it slick.

OMG: Jake's (Jack Nicholson) symbolic nasal trauma.


USP: Possessing emotional power with zero sentimentality.

MVP: Robin Williams as shrink Sean Maguire: the film's heart.

OMG: The Harvard bar scene. "At least I won't be unoriginal..."


USP: Darren Aronofsky makes Hubert Selby Jr.'s bleak novel a visually sumptuous hellride.

MVP: Ellen Burstyn as pill-addled Sara.

OMG: The climactic four-way descent. None. More. Harsh.


USP: A postmodern fairy tale that brings out the old romantic in anyone.

MVP: Sword master Bob Anderson, for crafting some of cinema's finest fencing. Speaking of which...

OMG: Westley (Cary Elwes) and Inigo's (Mandy Patinkin) cliff-top duel. En garde!

114. GROUNDHOG DAY (1993)

USP: The perfect high-concept comedy: what if you had to relive an awful day?

MVP: Writer Danny Rubin. He had this idea. This idea. Worship him.

OMG: Phil (Bill Murray) punches out Ned (Stephen Tobolowsky).


USP: A cop thriller which broke rules with its harsh, docu-style edge.

MVP: Stunt coordinator Bill Hickman for the astonishing car-chasing-elevated-train sequence — pulled off in live traffic.

OMG: Popeye (Gene Hackman) runs into darkness, we hear a gunshot, "The End"?!

112. EVIL DEAD II (1987)

USP: Slapstick comedy meets video-nasty horror.

MVP: Bruce Campbell, who as Ash was beaten, bruised and battered.

OMG: Chainsaw hand! Groovy.

111. UP (2009)

USP: Weird, wonderful, gorgeous, surreal... Pixar's closest to Miyazaki.

MVP: Michael Giacchino, for a truly soaring, endlessly hummable score.

OMG: Other than the opening montage? We love Dug.

110. AVATAR (2009)

James Cameron's Avatar (2009)

USP: James Cameron changes the game with mo-cap, 3D and blue cat people.

MVP: Zoe Saldana, whose gorgeously poised and fierce performance as Neytiri was sadly overlooked by awards people.

OMG: The attack on Hometree. Enough to make you hate yourself for being human.

109. THE GREEN MILE (1999)

USP: If you only ever see two Frank Darabont prison-based Stephen Kinga daptations... Make this the second.

MVP: Michael Clarke Duncan, magical as the mysterious John Coffey.

OMG: The botched execution. Horrifying.

108. PREDATOR (1987)

USP: Packing a ton of Looney Tunesy action, this jungle thriller ain't got time to be dull.

MVP: James Cameron, who suggested the look of the alien to Stan Winston.

OMG: Skinned-carcass surprise.

107. THE TERMINATOR (1984)

USP: The T-800 will be back again in 2015's Terminator: Genesis, further proof that the original is unkillable.

MVP: Arnie. Just try to imagine it with O. J. Simpson or Lance Henriksen.

OMG: "I'll be back."

106. BRAZIL (1985)

USP: Terry Gilliam's dazzlingly designed sci-fi epic about admin and plumbing.

MVP: Michael Palin, whose inherent niceness is employed by Gilliam to truly terrifying effect.

OMG: The bleak ending - kind of a happy one too. "He's got away from us, Jack."

105. THE MASTER (2012)

USP: Paul Thomas Anderson takes on Scientology, kinda, with this massively intense tale of a cult leader and a troubled sailor.

MVP: Mihai Malaimare's 70mm photography.

OMG: The processing scene.

104. THE APARTMENT (1960)

USP: Not seen Billy Wilder's caustic, moving classic? Then shut up and watch.

MVP: Jack Lemmon. Kevin Spacey dedicated one of his Oscars to the performance.

OMG: The climactic bang.

103. THE TRUMAN SHOW (1998)

USP: Jim Carrey's Truman is trapped in the tube. The world watches. So still, apparently, do you.

MVP: Director Peter Weir, not least for nixing original title The Malcolm Show.

OMG: Truman's awakening.


USP: Decades-spanning crime saga. Very long. Very brilliant.

MVP: Editor Nino Baragli — the original cut was ten hours long.

OMG: Ennio Morricone's theme kicks in.

101. MULHOLLAND DR. (2001)

USP: Super-stylish and super-loopy, David Lynch's LA nocturne is not exactly a hooray for Hollywood.

MVP: Naomi Watts, on astounding, career-making form.

OMG: Is that an alley troll? Oh, it is.


Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)

USP: Spielberg and Lucas add Dad, amping up the comedy and turning their Thuggee-slayer into an exasperated teenager.

MVP: Sean Connery, giddy as a schoolboy as Jones The Elder.

OMG: Escape from Castle Brunwald.


USP: Great music, 900 smashed cars, a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes and two comedians in sunglasses. Hit it.

MVP: Dan Aykroyd, for managing to wrangle a drugged-up Belushi through the shoot.

OMG: The cop-cruiser pile-up.


USP: So hardboiled you could crack it with a spoon, the Coens' Texas noir explores the lengths men will go to for a bag of cash.

MVP: Javier Bardem, as bad-haired bad-man Chigurh.

OMG: Dog attack.

97. ALMOST FAMOUS (2000)

USP: Cameron Crowe's love for big-haired '70s rock proved to be contagious. It obviously still is.

MVP: Music supervisor Danny Bramson, for clearing all the rights.

OMG: Tiny Dancer.

96. SINGIN' IN THE RAIN (1952)

USP: The most joyful movie about movies ever made, driven by a never-better Gene Kelly.

MVP: Jean Hagen, who gamely sneers as the awful Lina Lamont while everyone around her gets to sing and dance beautifully.

OMG: The entirety of the matchless singin' in the rain sequence, but especially the moment where Kelly just starts splashing in puddles.

95. ROCKY (1976)

USP: The most iconic sports film of all time, it's still inspiring people the world over to punch slabs of beef (maybe).

MVP: Sly Stallone, who wrote and starred. After him, that poor cow.


94. KILL BILL VOL. 1 (2003)

USP: Tarantino turns Pulp Fiction's "Fox Force Five" bit into a two-volume movie. This is the quick, colourful, actiony part: a shogun sugar-rush.

MVP: Fight supervisor Yuen Woo-ping.

OMG: O-Ren Ishii gets hers.

93. FARGO (1996)

USP: The snow's white. The blood's red. The comedy's black. The Coens wreak havoc in their hometown. Naughty boys.

MVP: Frances McDormand? You're darn tootin'.

OMG: Misuse of a woodchipper.

92. WITHNAIL AND I (1987)

USP: Cinema's greatest-ever sot-com, as two pissant thespians go on holiday. Like the finest wines known to humanity, it only gets better with age.

MVP: The teetotal Richard E. Grant.

OMG: Camberwell Carrot.

91. TRUE ROMANCE (1993)

USP: A perfect storm of Tarantino script, Tony Scott direction and that cast.

MVP: No lie — it's a tie between Christopher Walken and Dennis Hopper.

OMG: Brad Pitt as stoner Floyd. Where's the spin-off?

90. SERENITY (2005)

Joss Whedon's Serenity (2005)

USP: Joss Whedon's cancelled TV space-buccaneers make good with a blow-out feature. Let's hope they show up in Avengers 3.

MVP: Whedon, whose script is not scant on quip.

OMG: Wash washes out.


USP: Aka Wrath Of John Harrison. Still the most thrilling Trek trek, as Kirk and Spock take on an interstellar maniac with a mullet.

MVP: Ricardo Montalban, rocking both a bare chest and the galaxy.

OMG: The death of Spock.

88. CITY OF GOD (2002)

USP: Fernando Meirelles gives us a terrifying, breathtaking tour of Rio. The parts which don't have wisecracking parrots.

MVP: Novelist Paulo Lins, whose research lasted eight years.

OMG: Under-age gunplay.

87. THE 400 BLOWS (2006)

USP: François Truffaut turned painful childhood memories into timeless art. And, with the iconic beach-jog, may have inspired Baywatch.

MVP: Young star Jean-Pierre Léaud.

OMG: The freeze-frame.


USP: The Wild Bunch? Tarantino shits 'em. His first Western is so raucously, violently entertaining, he's making another.

MVP: Fritz the nodding horse.

OMG: Calvin Candie's anatomy class.


USP: Scorsese proves that Wall Street is the meanest street of all. Full of awful people doing unspeakable things, hilariously.

MVP: Jonah Hill, at his super-baddest as a teeth-bleached finance-weasel.

OMG: Coke up the bum!

84. DONNIE DARKO (2001)

USP: Alice In Wonderland's March Hare was once the trippiest rabbit in fiction. Not anymore, thanks to Richard Kelly's un-synopsisable cult classic.

MVP: Tears For Fears.

OMG: Swayze? Swayze.


USP: The classiest caper ever.

MVP: Mount Rushmore sculptor Gutzon Borglum, who unwittingly designed one of Hitch's greatest sets. In an early draft Cary Grant hid inside Lincoln's nose.

OMG: The saucy cut from stars kissing to a train entering a tunnel.

82. SPIRITED AWAY (2001)

USP: Teeming with weird creatures and brain-fizzing images, this could be Hayao Miyazaki's finest hour. And that's saying something.

MVP: Miyazaki-san.

OMG: Bath-time for stink demon.


USP: It may steal its climax from Gremlins, but otherwise Tarantino's World War II epic is dazzlingly original. Gory, too.

MVP: A chilling Christoph Waltz.

OMG: Hitler's last picture show.

80. SOME LIKE IT HOT (1959)

Billy Wilder's Some Like It Hot

USP: Ends with one of its heroes heading off into the sunset with a dirty old man, but somehow still feels wholesome. Now that's subversive.

MVP: Cary Grant, for inspiring "Junior".

OMG: "Nobody's perfect."

79. L. A. CONFIDENTIAL (1997)

USP: Christmas-set mystery that scrapes the tinsel off Tinseltown, revealing a rotting tree beneath.

MVP: Writer Brian Helgeland, radically reworking James Ellroy's novel while retaining the mordant wit.

OMG: "Rollo Tamasi."


USP: Wish you could shake that ex out of your brain? Michel Gondry's eerie, funny sci-fi shows why that might be a bad idea.

MVP: Kate Winslet's hair.

OMG: Baby memories.

77. THE THIRD MAN (1949)

USP: A masterful noir located in the bleak and chaotic post-War rubble of Vienna — incredibly bold for its time.

MVP: Director Carol Reed for bringing together so many remarkable elements: the look, the score, Welles..

OMG: Lime's entrance. "Cat got your tongue?"


USP: Steven Spielberg brings a previously unseen level of reality to the horrors of war.

MVP: Tom Hanks, his commanding façade crumbling as every death takes him further away from home.

OMG: The make-it-stop opening half-hour on Omaha Beach.


USP: Riveting post-heist thriller, heralding the '90s US indie-crime boom.

MVP: QT, extraordinarily assured in his directing debut.

OMG: Stealers Wheel?!

74. STAND BY ME (1986)

USP: Rob Reiner crafts the perfect coming-of-age pic.

MVP: Wil Wheaton carries the film as budding author Gordie Lachance. Put Wesley Crusher from your minds.

OMG: Blueberry chunder tsunami.


USP: An enigmatic almost-affair between Americans in Tokyo, as witnessed by Sofia Coppola.

MVP: Director/writer Coppola, for somehow making jetlag beautiful.

OMG: Bill Murray's heartbreaking, inaudible farewell to Scarlett Johansson.


USP: Nolan triumphantly completes his Batman trilogy with an emphysemic roar.

MVP: Cinematographer Wally Pfister, continuing to create that unique Dark Knight aesthetic.

OMG: Eleven thousand extras witness the Gotham Stadium attack.

71. REAR WINDOW (1954)

USP: Hitchcock proves he can even wring suspense from the confines of a wheelchair.

MVP: Hitch, spinning a hokey premise into a nuanced masterpiece.

OMG: Grace Kelly goes trespassing.

70. PSYCHO (1960)

Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho (1960)

USP: Hitchcock's scurrilous genius manifests once again, at the Bates Motel.

MVP: Perkins as Norman Bates, in a twitchy but oddly touching performance.

OMG: Martin Balsam takes the stairs.

69. RAGING BULL (1980)

USP: Scorsese's brutal, bruising boxing drama, based on the real life of Jake La Motta.

MVP: Robert De Niro, drastically changing his body shape to portray La Motta at different points in his life.

OMG: The fight sequences, which put the audience right in the ring.

68. AMÉLIE (2001)

USP: Sweet romantic fantasy from Jean-Pierre Jeunet that feels like love on film.

MVP: Montmartre, filtered through the imaginations of Jeunet and Amélie as a place of perpetual sunshine and magic.

OMG: Maurice Bénichou opens his box.


USP: Jonathan Demme's chilling adaptation of Thomas Harris' serial-killer bestseller.

MVP: Anthony Hopkins, making a household name of Hannibal Lecter and effecting his own career renaissance.

OMG: Lecter makes his escape.

66. THE LION KING (1994)

USP: Disney animal magic, which represents the peak of the Mouse House revival era.

MVP: James Earl Jones, putting that majestic voice to use as King Mufasa.

OMG: The stampeding wildebeest set-piece.


USP: Spielberg's blockbusting, heartwarming family sci-fi.

MVP: The late, great Carlo Rambaldi, creator of the strangely ugly, oddly cute alien exile.

OMG: Pushbikes in flight.

64. THE THING (1982)

USP: Mind-boggling, paranoid chills with a shapeshifting alien.

MVP: Rob Bottin, creator of the jaw-dropping, flesh-ripping, arm-chomping, head-scuttling special effects.

OMG: You've gotta be fucking kidding..."


USP: Who you gonna call for a supernatural comedy beloved of generations? This lot.

MVP: Bill Murray, bringing smart-ass cool to the supernatural shenanigans, and coping admirably with being slimed.

OMG: The library ghost objects to her reading being disturbed.

62. TITANIC (1997)

USP: James Cameron proved 'em all wrong, turning a 'disaster in the making' into a massive box-office, Oscar-hoovering hit.

MVP: Bond-regular production designer Peter Lamont for so perfectly recreating the ship, from steerage to first class.

OMG: "Never let go..."

61. OLDBOY (2003)

USP: Hammer-wielding, octopus-bothering mayhem from director Park Chan-wook.

MVP: Choi Min-sik, taciturn and dogged as understandably crazy Oh Dae-su.

OMG: "I want to eat something alive..."


Danny Boyle's Trainspotting (1996)

USP: Danny Boyle's sophomore effort perfectly captures the brief highs and considerable lows of Irvine Welsh's cult junkie novel.

MVP: Robert Carlyle on terrifying, electrifying form as the gonzo Begbie.

OMG: Cold-turkey ceiling baby, crawling to Underworld's Dark & Long (Dark Train).

59. MEMENTO (2000)

USP: The end is the beginning is the end in Christopher Nolan's ingenious backwards thriller.

MVP: Guy Pearce, seizing his scrambled amnesiac role by its tattooed neck.

OMG: The final twist that starts the story.

58. TOY STORY (1995)

USP: Pixar soars to infinity and beyond with its first feature.

MVP: Tom Hanks and Tim Allen's double act gave the film its heart, but Allen deserves most props for nailing deluded hero Buzz.

OMG: The horror of Sid's house.

57. SEVEN SAMURAI (1954)

USP: Epochal epic drama from director Akira Kurosawa.

MVP: Kurosawa regular Toshiro Mifune's comic turn as the manic and temperamental ronin Kikuchiyo.

OMG: The final, costly battle in a torrential rain storm.

56. LEON (1994)

USP: Luc Besson's thrilling hitman actioner is also the wrongest-yet-rightest love story.

MVP: The 12 year-old Natalie Portman is unforgettable in her first major role.

OMG: Gary Oldman makes his entrance as the insane DEA agent Stansfield.

55. THE DEPARTED (2006)

USP: Scorsese remakes Infernal Affairs to his own exceptionally exacting standards.

MVP: Wahlberg, in a performance quietly anticipating his future comedy successes.

OMG: Nicholson makes a confession.


USP: Kubrick on infamous satirical form, adapting Anthony Burgess' controversial novel.

MVP: Patrick Magee chews the scenery as a former victim of Malcolm McDowell's deadly droogs.

OMG: The Singin' In The Rain sequence.

53. THE SHINING (1980)

USP: Kubrick keeps the blood flowing as Jack Nicholson loses his mind in an empty hotel.

MVP: Danny Lloyd as the "shining" Torrance Jr., who easily keeps pace with his on-screen dad, performance-wise.

OMG: "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy..." Repeat as desired.


USP: Still the biggest film of all time, and the one with the best use of the phrase "Fiddle-dee-dee".

MVP: Producer David O. Selznick essentially willed the film into existence single-handed, built the hype to monster proportions and oversaw every aspect to ensure that it would deliver.

OMG: The burning of Atlanta.

51. 12 ANGRY MEN (1957)

USP: Our unanimous verdict is that this is a superbly acted ensemble piece.

MVP: Screenwriter Reginald Rose, producing and adapting his own play for the second time.

OMG: The relief of finally leaving that single set. (In a good way.)

50. PAN'S LABYRINTH (2006)

Guillermo del Toro's Pan's Labyrinth (2006)

USP: Guillermo del Toro's extraordinary, dark magic-realist fable.

MVP: Doug Jones, rocking amazing prosthetics as both Faun and Pale Man.

OMG: Ofelia's dagger-retrieval mission in the Pale Man's opulent lair.

49. DRIVE (2011)

USP: Ryan Gosling and Nicolas Winding Refn united in blank-faced violence for the first time.

MVP: Albert Brooks proves he can do frightening as well as funny.

OMG: The elevator stomp. Scrunchy.

48. MAGNOLIA (1999)

USP: Paul Thomas Anderson's unique, multi-faceted drama.

MVP: Aimee Mann, whose music forms the film's backbone and its completely unexpected centrepiece.

OMG: It's raining frogs! Hallelujah!


USP: Sergio Leone delivered a Civil War epic with an amoral alliance-shifting treasure hunt at its core.

MVP: Eli Wallach as the nasty, rattish yet somehow lovable Tuco.

OMG: The Ecstasy Of Gold...


USP: If Fellowship was a journey movie, this put the trilogy firmly on massive-scale battle-pic territory.

MVP: Andy Serkis' extraordinary Gollum. A performance-capture career is born.

OMG: The Uruk-hai march on man-bastion Helm's Deep in a midnight storm.

45. SKYFALL (2012)

USP: Daniel Craig's Bond returned damaged and older, as he and M (Judi Dench) tackled ghosts from their past. But it wasn't all gloom — director Sam Mendes gave the 50th anniversary movie a welcome old-school sheen.

MVP: See writer John Logan's answer on page 105.

OMG: During the thrilling opening sequence, we see Bond check his cuffs. That's how 007 rolls.

44. TAXI DRIVER (1976)

USP: Scum-soaked streets remain indelibly grimy in Scorsese's bleak drama.

MVP: Writer Paul Schrader, for being Travis Bickle.

OMG: Are you talkin' to me?"

43. VERTIGO (1958)

USP: Deep psychological trauma from the Master Of Suspense.

MVP: Everyman James Stewart on the verge and over the edge of a nervous breakdown.

OMG: A nun rising, spectre-like, from a bell tower trapdoor.


USP: Leone's first post-Dollars Western is his most operatic.

MVP: The not-entirely-feminist Leone canon gains a uniquely strong female protagonist in Claudia Cardinale.

OMG: Erstwhile Abe Lincoln Henry Fonda is the film's steel-eyed killer.


USP: Milos Forman's flawless Kesey adaptation pays off in silver dollars. Nicholson is electric.

MVP: Louise Fletcher's antagonist: both sympathetic and hissable.

OMG: The Chief reveals his secret.


Frank Capra's It's A Wonderful Life

USP: Capra's Christmas classic is surprisingly downbeat until its beautifully moving ending.

MVP: Henry Travers' twinkle-eyed angel, Clarence Odbody.

OMG: George Bailey's horrified arrival in the awful Pottersville.

39. DIE HARD (1988)

USP: John McTiernan reinvents the action movie... as a Christmas Western.

MVP: Bruce Willis leaves Moonlighting behind forever, armed with a machine gun, ho ho ho.

OMG: Fire-hose skyscraper abseiling.


USP: Five high-school stereotypes learn that they're actually all just people.

MVP: Paul Gleason as school principal Richard Vernon, because he gives up his Saturday too and then gets a lot of grief for it.

OMG: No one has ever punched the air as convincingly as Judd Nelson in that final freeze-frame.

37. SEVEN (1995)

USP: Bleak, Gothic serial killer drama, with Pitt and Freeman on the trail of Deadly Sins Spacey.

MVP: After the Alien3 debacle, this was David Fincher's real debut.

OMG: Victim Two, Sloth, suddenly awakens, providing the biggest jump.

36. HEAT (1995)

USP: Epic crime drama of cops and robbers in an LA takedown.

MVP: He was already good, but Michael Mann here joined the ranks of the truly great thriller directors.

OMG: De Niro and Pacino: together in the same scene at last!

35. GRAVITY (2013)

USP: Cuarón's sci-fi survival saga is a breathtaking technical achievement.

MVP: UK FX company Framestore made outer space seem that much closer.

OMG: Explorer's been hit!"

34. FORREST GUMP (1994)

USP: The inexplicable life story of Tom Hanks' unlikely hero.

MVP: Screenwriter Eric Roth plays up the romance and irons out the cynicism of Winstom Groom's source novel.

OMG: Gary Sinise gets legless.

33. CITIZEN KANE (1941)

USP: The fictional biopic of Charles Foster Kane is frequently cited as the greatest movie ever made. Or the 33rd-greatest...

MVP: Writer, director, producer and star Orson Welles, incredibly in his debut feature.

OMG: Rosebud...


USP: Bryan Singer's crimer in which all is never as it seems.

MVP: Benicio Del Toro making himself deliberately, hilariously difficult to understand.

OMG: A noticeboard, a falling coffee cup, and a jaw-dropping revelation.


USP: David Lean's extraordinary biopic with an iconic Peter O'Toole.

MVP: Cinematographer Freddie Young elicits maximum visual sweep from Morocco and Jordan's deserts.

OMG: Omar Sharif slowly emerges from the desert haze.


Sam Mendes' American Beauty (1999)

USP: Sam Mendes' debut dissection of middle-class modern malaise.

MVP: Spacey's grandstanding comic centrepiece, Lester Burnham.

OMG: Mena Suvari's bath of rose petals remains an extraordinary image.


USP: Bruising, baroque drama from eccentric auteur Paul Thomas Anderson.

MVP: Daniel Day-Lewis as the appallingly fascinating Daniel Plainview.

OMG: "I drink your milkshake..."


USP: James Cameron exponentially ups the stakes on his original classic.

MVP: The boffins at ILM, who made mimetic poly-alloy seem thrillingly real.

OMG: The T-1000 forms itself from a puddle on a chequered floor.

27. GLADIATOR (2000)

USP: Ridley Scott reclaims historical epics for the 21st century. We are entertained.

MVP: Oliver Reed plays the grizzled Antonius Proximo. His final role was a fitting swan-song.

OMG: Snow and fire in the opening battle.

26. CASABLANCA (1942)

USP: Wartime intrigue in Morocco, with Bogart and Bergman on classic form.

MVP: The crackling, apparently effortless dialogue of writers the Epstein Brothers.

OMG: Here's looking at a truly great parting shot.


USP: Devastating Holocaust drama from Thomas Keneally's famous novel.

MVP: Spielberg, who somehow directed this and Jurassic Park in the same year.

OMG: The banal evil of Ralph Fiennes' Untersturmführer Amon Goeth.


USP: Labyrinthine, deadpan, Chandleresque mystery from the Coens. With bowling.

MVP: Jeff Bridges' Dude. He really ties the film together.

OMG: A dream sequence that makes Kenny Rogers ineffably cool.

23. THE MATRIX (1999)

USP: Game-changing cyberpunk action from the Wachowskis.

MVP: John Gaeta and his Manex Visual Effects team, responsible for the execution of bullet time.

OMG: Trinity swings from a helicopter as it crashes into the rippling glass side of skyscraper.

22. 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (1968)

USP: Kubrick's visionary journey into space.

MVP: Douglas Rain, providing implacable menace as the voice of sentient computer HAL 9000.

OMG: A single match cut advances the narrative millions of years in a split-second.

21. ALIEN (1979)

USP: Pulp sci-fi horror elevated to the level of art by Ridley Scott.

MVP: H. R. Giger whose designs created a classic monster.

OMG: John Hurt's tummy explodes.


Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now (1979)

USP: Francis Ford Coppola's lunatic bad trip to Vietnam.

MVP: Robert Duvall's insane Colonel Kilgore. He loves the smell of napalm in the morning.

OMG: An elephantine Marlon Brando, mumbling at river's end.

19. ALIENS (1986)

James Cameron's Aliens (1986)

USP: James Cameron constructs an all-out war sequel from the bones of the sombre original.

MVP: Sigourney Weaver, stepping up from embattled survivor to action heroine. Not bad for a human.

OMG: The Alien Queen is revealed.

18. JURASSIC PARK (1993)

Steve Spielberg's Jurassic Park (1993)

USP: Spielberg's glorious dinosaur theme-park ride.

MVP: Stan Winston and ILM, combining state-of-the-art practical FX and bleeding-edge CGI to bring the beasts convincingly to life.

OMG: Our first arrival on Isla Nublar.


Robert Zemeckis' Back To The Future (1985)

USP: Timeless romantic caper comedy from Robert Zemeckis.

MVP: Christopher Lloyd's beyond-eccentric Doc Emmett Brown, inventor of the DeLorean time machine and the flux capacitor.

OMG: Death-defying dangling from the Hill Valley clock tower.


Tom Hiddleston as Loki

USP: Marvel brings its screen superhero roster together for the first time, with spectacular success. Joss Whedon is the ringmaster.

MVP: The surprise casting of Mark Ruffalo makes the third modern Hulk by far the best. He's a great Banner too.

OMG: "Puny god!"


Francis Ford Coppola's The Godfather Part II (1974)

USP: Coppola achieves the seemingly impossible by making an even deeper film than the original Godfather.

MVP: John Cazale as the hapless Fredo.

OMG: Robert De Niro plays the young Marlon Brando.

14. FIGHT CLUB (1999)

David Fincher's Fight Club (1999)

USP: Rug-pulling, testosterone-fuelled, philosophical black comedy from David Fincher.

MVP: Brad Pitt as the charismatic walking id, Tyler Durden.

OMG: The city falls to a Pixies soundtrack.

13. GOODFELLAS (1990)

Martin Scorsese's Goodfellas (1990)

USP: Martin Scorsese's seminal gangster drama.

MVP: Thelma Schoonmaker for her ingeniously ironic editing.

OMG: "Funny how? How am I funny?"


Peter Jackson's The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King

USP: The capstone of Peter Jackson's epic Tolkien trilogy.

MVP: The combined talents of the Weta Workshop and Weta Digital, who brought Middle-earth and its denizens to astonishing life.

OMG: In a word, Shelob.

11. BLADE RUNNER (1982)

Sean Young in Blade Runner (1982)

USP: Ridley Scott's slick future noir infamously tanked on release, yet came to define a whole new wave of dark sci-fi.

MVP: Futurist Syd Mead, for his invaluable contribution to the film's iconic look.

OMG: There's something about the disturbing way Pris (Daryl Hannah) flips out when Deckard shoots her that never quite leaves you.

10. INCEPTION (2010)

Christopher Nolan's Inception (2010)

USP: Perhaps the most high-brow action film ever made, Inception builds its thrills quite literally from its characters' imaginations. Location, gravity and the weather are all maleable as a team of gifted thieves try to con a wealthy daddy's boy into giving them the key to his fortune. Nolan keeps the pace moving so briskly that audiences barely have time to get confused, and sets a story of existential confusion against a backdrop of fantastical dream worlds.

MVP: Christopher Nolan, first for selling a major studio on the most expensive, least obviously commercial film premise in recent history, and then for delivering a blockbuster hit that enthralled audiences everywhere.

OMG: Arguably the film is one long OMG moment, but the sight of Paris streets folding into the sky like pages of a book is one that still boggles our mind.


Steven Spielberg's Indiana Jones: Raiders Of The Lost Ark (1981)

USP: It's dropped seven places since our last poll in 2008, possibly due to residual ill-will towards Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull. But don't let rubbish digital gophers obscure the genius of Indy's original and best-by-far escapade. Raiders Of The Lost Ark's action is, of course, glorious. Made back when green-screen was just a twinkle in George Lucas' eye, Harrison Ford (or, often, Vic Armstrong) drops into an actual snake-pit, is dragged behind an actual truck and rides an actual submarine in an actual ocean (okay, the face-melting is fake). But what makes it a timeless classic is Lawrence Kasdan's whip-smart script, by turns solemn and silly, with a quotable line always just around the corner. In a thousand years, this movie will still be worth something.

MVP: It's too hard to pick between Spielberg, Lucas, Kasdan and Ford, so we'll go with the Nazi monkey.

OMG: The opening sequence, in which Dr. Jones infiltrates a fiendishly booby-trapped jungle temple, is pure gold. Much like the freaky Chachapoyan Fertility Idol he finds there.


Peter Jackson's The Fellowship Of The Ring (2001)

USP: Not even Smaug the Chiefest and Greatest of Calamities can usurp this from its place as most precioussss Middle-earth instalment. It has a cornucopia of wonders: hissing ghoul-kings, a jolly wizard, goblins that can scuttle up walls and the best fireworks ever. But at its core is a warm heart, personified by four mild-mannered halflings who'd rather be at the pub than leaping across bottomless ravines. Starting as a (relatively) small-scale chase flick and slowly expanding in scope as the Fellowship is formed, it is, hands-down, the most magical men-on-a-mission movie ever made.

MVP: Howard Shore, whose first fantasy score (if you don't count Big) fizzes with imagination. Building from meadowy whimsy to grim Dwarvish chants, it introduces iconic themes that the Hobbit films are still quoting.

OMG: The moment where Bilbo (Ian Holm) transforms into a slavering monster and goes, "GRAAAH!" is still endlessly upsetting. You can almost hear Peter Jackson giggling in the cutting room.

7. JAWS (1975)

Steven Spielberg's Jaws (1975)

USP: In different hands, Jaws could have ended up being just another '70s freak-of-nature disaster pic. Or, given the daily calamities of its watery shoot, it could have just simply been a disaster. But Steven Spielberg (then only in his late twenties) snatched victory from the big, rubbery teeth of defeat with a less-is-more approach as far as the Great White (WHO IS NOT CALLED 'JAWS') was concerned and, more crucially, by also nudging the film into an entirely different genre for its second half and turning out what is in fact Hollywood's greatest guys-on-a-fishing-trip movie.

MVP: Composer John Williams, for somehow making two notes scarier than an actual giant shark.

OMG: Yes, it's an obvious one, but it has to still be the EEEEK! appearance of Ben Gardner's severed, fish-nibbled head - apart from anything else, it's solid proof of the value of test screenings and reshoots.


Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker in Star Wars

USP: It's hard to think of any studio film that's been green-lit since Empire's birth that sounds as insane as Star Wars must have in 1976. So it's set in space… but a long time ago. There are duelling knights… but also World War II-style dogfights… And it goes from a dusty Western to a rescue-the-princess quest… Yet George Lucas blended all those mythic elements into the ultimate cinematic power smoothie.

MVP: Darth Vader, a perfectly formed screen villain: physically imposing (thanks, Dave Prowse), menacingly stentorian (cheers, James Earl Jones), an evil warrior-monk with an oil-black robo-skull face — that also somehow makes him look a little sad, hinting at buried tragedies within.

OMG: It might be the second-best Star Wars movie, but it has the best opening: the fanfare, the crawl, and that flyover from the biggest spaceship anyone had ever seen.

5. PULP FICTION (1994)

Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction (1994)

USP: Quentin Tarantino's three-classic-crime-pitches-for-the-price-of-one remains his masterpiece, a gourmet smorgasbord of movie lore — from Howard Hawks to Jean-Luc Godard via Douglas Sirk — transformed into something original, vital and still essential. Chock-full of powerful performances, classic scenes, tricksy yarn-spinning, great tunes you'd never heard before and all tied up with enough verve and energy to get to the moon and back, if you don't love Pulp Fiction, you must really question whether you love movies at all.

MVP: Tarantino the writer, shared with Roger Avary. Can you think of a film that covers more diverse topics in dialogue as the metric system, foot massages, The Guns Of Navarone, the nature of character, blueberry pancakes, the good old days of robbing liquor stores and Amsterdam's drug laws?

OMG: Vincent Vega (John Travolta) takes Mia Wallace (Uma Thurman) on a date and we go along to savour every moment. Even the uncomfortable silences.


Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman in The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

USP: The highest-ranking debut on the list (and the only film that's retained the exact same placing since our last Greatest Movies poll), Frank Darabont's Stephen King adaptation is the perfect mix of modern sensibilities (man, it is brutal) and classical storytelling nous. Yet it resonates because the relationship between Tim Robbins' Andy and Morgan Freeman's Red is one of cinema's greatest friendships: earned, touching and true. Twenty years later, even if you know its secrets, the ending is still devastating.

MVP: Morgan Freeman in general and Morgan Freeman's voice in particular - his golden tones turn a potentially on-the-nose narration into poetry.

OMG: Andy Dufresne locks the warden's door and blisses out to Mozart's The Marriage Of Figaro - blaring out over the PA system, the whole prison yard is transfixed. In a tough 142 minutes, it is a beautifully realised moment of grace.


Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight

USP: Six years on and your love of Christopher Nolan's Batman sequel only grows. It may be the highest-ranking 'superhero' movie on this list, but its genius was in Nolan and his brother Jonah's bold conception of it more, as the director put it to Empire at the time, as "a large crime story, the sort of film Michael Mann always did very well, like Heat… but with the occasional psychotic clown running through it!" Batman Begins had taken Bruce Wayne's world seriously, but it still had a touch of the fantastical, especially during its final act. Here Nolan finally and firmly grounded the comic-book genre in something that felt truly real and thrillingly visceral.

MVP: Heath Ledger, without a doubt. And who's gonna argue? From the shock-laugh moment of his pencil-disappearing "magic trick" he'd achieved the seemingly impossible: he'd out-Jokered Jack Nicholson.

OMG: The glorious articulated truck-flip, achieved on the streets of Chicago without a single scrap of CGI. It felt like the greatest Bond stunt that James Bond had nothing to do with.


Marlon Brando as Vito Corleone in The Godfather

USP: Not just one of the most quotable, and quoted, scripts in cinema ("I'm gonna make him an offer he can't refuse"), it's also one of the most impressive silk-purse-of-a-sow's-ear jobs in screenwriting history, magicking mediocre source material into a grand criminal opera. Put a lot of cannoli kids through school, too.

MVP: Gordon Willis, whose top lighting of Brando (and cat) made Don Corleone into a shadowy crime deity. Not everyone flocked to lionise the 'Prince of Darkness' at the time – "I got a lot of criticism," Willis would later remember, "because they said, well, you can't see Brando's eyes!" – and Paramount fretted for the viewing experience of drive-in audiences, but they all missed the essential point. "I deliberately didn't want to see his eyes", the late, great DP pointed out, "so you saw this mysterious human being thinking about something, but you didn't know what the hell was going on." Like a whack-happy Rembrandt subject, the results could easily hang in a gallery.

OMG: When studio honcho Jack Woltz declines to cast Vito's godson in his next picture, he finds out the hard way why the horse's head is the Mafia's bedfellow of choice. Well, apart from the fishes.


Irvin Kershner's The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

USP: Where Star Wars had been an unabashedly exciting space adventure, Empire Strikes Back introduced complexity and uncertainty to the galaxy far, far away. The stakes are raised, the characters relationships tested and evolved in surprising ways, and a dash of pure black is mixed into those primary paint colours. As George Lucas himself describes it in our issue, "It's soulful, but in a different way from Episode IV. It's a little bit more adult. I'm more of a goofy director. Star Wars skews slightly younger than you'd expect; it was a film for 12-year-olds. Empire's like that but a bit of the goofiness has been shaved off it. [Director Irvin] Kershner was much more of a serious person. He loved the whole religious aspect of it, Luke learning the Force."

MVP: Mark Hamill as Luke. Last time we saw him, he'd been making eyes at Princess Leia and gazing about in wide-eyed wonder. Here, he is battle-hardened even before he is reforged by Yoda into something approaching the zen master he will become. But that self-control is tested to breaking point and beyond with Darth's revelations during their duel below Cloud City. It's a huge twist, and it's Hamill's anguished reaction that gives the moment such power and impact.

OMG: While the Skywalker family soap does most of the heavy dramatic lifting of the film, and the comedy is handled by Yoda and R2, another addition to Empire that was largely absent from its predecessor is that of a love story. Han and Leia are perfectly mismatched, and from that brilliant first kiss ("I'm nice men") things seem to be building nicely until their last, desperate moments together. "I love you," she finally admits. "I know," he says, as he's lowered into the carbon chamber. HOW COULD YOU LEAVE THIS ON A CLIFFHANGER?

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